The benchmark indices of India's equity markets closed near their intraday lows on Wednesday. While BSE's Sensex closed below 38,000-level at at 37789.13 after losing 487.50 points while NSE's Nifty 50 ended 138.40 points lower at 11359.50. It slipped below 11,350 during intraday activity.
About 685 shares advanced, 1778 shares declined, and 148 shares remain unchanged during the day, while about 200 stocks touched their 52-week lows.
Among Nifty stocks, the biggest losers were Zee Entertainment, Bajaj Finance, Reliance Industries, Tata Motors and Bajaj Finserv while UPL, JSW Steel, Titan Company, BPCL and Coal India gained the most.All sectoral indices ended in red. The midcap and smallcap indices shed 1 percent each.
Weak global cues on renewed concerns of a trade spat between the US and China have made traders shift from equity to safer instruments like government bonds. Apart from that, withdrawal of nearly Rs 1,400 crore from Indian equity markets by foreign institutional investors so far in the month of May, also hurt the domestic market sentiments.
There have also been increasing concerns of the pledging shares by promoters. Ideally, companies which have a high percentage of their promoter shares being pledged for loans (either for personal or business purposes) are treated as risky stocks especially during tightening liquidity conditions.
Promoters of 116 companies pledged their holdings among the BSE-500 index. These include JK Tyre, Reliance Capital, Reliance Infra, CG Power, Sun Pharma, ZEE Entertainment and JSW Energy as listed by a Kotak Institutional Equities study. Some of these were also the same stocks that touched their 52-week lows on Wednesday.
The report said that the total value of promoter pledged shares stood at Rs 1.95 lakh crore in March 2019, which is about 1.38 percent of the BSE-500 index's total market capitalization. However, it also said that the total percentage of pledged promoter holdings in these firms declined to 2.83 percent in the March 2019 quarter when compared to 2.98 percent in the previous quarter.